American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2327-6681 ISSN (Online): 2327-6657 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2017, 5(1), 10-19
DOI: 10.12691/ajmsm-5-1-2
Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Body Temperature Between 5min and 10min Glass Mercury Thermometers in Under-5 Children in Axum Saint Mary Hospital, Central Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia

G. Hadgu1, , S. Almaz2, 3, R. Murugan2, S. Sisay4, A. Mebrahtu5, K. Gizenesh5, A. Teklit5, G. Teklit5, S. Desta1, B. Zeray1, T. Lidya1 and H. Geremedhin6

1School of Nursing, Axum University, Axum, Ethiopia

2School of Nursing, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4Department of Nursing, Mizan tepi University, Ethiopia

5School of Public Health, Axum University, Axum, Ethiopia

6School of Biomedical, Axum University, Axum, Ethiopia

Pub. Date: February 20, 2017

Cite this paper:
G. Hadgu, S. Almaz, R. Murugan, S. Sisay, A. Mebrahtu, K. Gizenesh, A. Teklit, G. Teklit, S. Desta, B. Zeray, T. Lidya and H. Geremedhin. Comparison of Body Temperature Between 5min and 10min Glass Mercury Thermometers in Under-5 Children in Axum Saint Mary Hospital, Central Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia. American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2017; 5(1):10-19. doi: 10.12691/ajmsm-5-1-2


Background: Evaluation of body temperature is one of the oldest known diagnostic methods and still an important sign of health and disease. Since rectal and oral temperature measurement are uncomfortable, less hygienic and unacceptable in many cultures; axillary has been method of choice in many countries like Ethiopia. In children decisions concerning investigation and treatment may base on results of temperature alone. Although accuracy of axillary temperature measurement is affected by a number of factors, device dwell time and device type are common. Objective: is to compare body temperature among 5 and 10 Min glass-mercury thermometer. Method: Experimental study design was used to compare body temperature among 5Minand 10Min GMT. A total of 98 samples were taken. The GMT (5 and 10min) was taken at the same axilla simultaneously. A statistical significance (p<0.01) and clinical significant (0.2°C) were used. Correlation and Bland-Altman plot were used to observe the agreements of the recording. Results: mean difference (MD) of 5 and10 GMT was 0.13673±0.13112. A statistically significant difference was noted in comparisons of mean temperatures of 10min GMT with 5min GMT (P<0.000), But clinically not significant (MD<0.2°C). The correlation analysis also shows strong positive correlation (r>0.75) and all the MD were fall in the limit of agreement in Bland-Altman plot. Conclusion and Recommendations: Even a statistical significant (p<0.000) difference was observed in 5 min with 10min GMT the strong correlation, their good agreement and clinical insignificant, some important advantages of 5 Min GMT makes better than 10 Min. Their variation in temperature is not likely to change any clinical decision. So health professionals should use 5Min GMT for measuring body temperature in under-5 febrile illness except for neonate. Moreover researchers should repeat the study using core temperature as gold standard for comparison.

body temperature thermometers mean difference dwelling time comparison

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Shaheed.J, Rahman N, Kasem FB, Islam MR, Sultana R, A.M: Comparison Between Mercury and Liquid Crystal Forehead Thermometers for Measurment of Body Temperature. Suhrawardy Med Coll. 2012; 4(2): 60-1.
[2]  Holtzclaw, B.J Circadian rhythmicity and homeostatic stability in thermoregulation. Biological Research for Nursing, 2001; 2: 221-35.
[3]  Abyot Bekele Woyessa, Worknesh Ayele, Abdi Ahimed, Nega: A. Investigation of acute febrile illness outbreakAsyaita and Dupti districts, Afar Region, Ethiopia. bmj. February 2011; 9 (Suppl 1): 46.
[4]  World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (CAH). Technical seminar - other causes of fever, 1-5.
[5]  Ng D, Lam J, Chow K. Childhood fever revisited. Hong Kong Medical journal= Xianggang yi xue za zhi/Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. 2002;8(1):39.
[6]  Çultu Ö, Yildirim I, Ceyhan M, Korkmaz A, Yurdakök M, Karaagaoglu E, et al. Comparing body temperature measurements by Mothers and physicians using mercury-in-glass, digital mercury and infrared tympanic membrane thermometers in healthy newborn babies. Turk J Pediatr. 2008; 50: 354-8.
[7]  Zeal JD, Consultants C: ThermoSpot-a non-invasive hypothermia indicator for neonates, infants and children.
[8]  Mehreen Adhi, Rabia Hasan, Fatima Noman, Syed Faisal Mahmood, Anwar Naqvi, Adib-ul-Hasan Rizvi: Range for Normal Body Temperature in the General Population of Pakistan, 2008; 58(10).
[9]  Märtha Sund-Levander: Measurement and Evaluation of Body Temperature, Implications for Clinical Practice. [dessertation]. 2004(872).
[10]  Bailey J, Rose P. Axillary and tympanic membrane temperature recording in the preterm neonate: a comparative study. Journal of advanced nursing. 2001; 34(4): 465-74.
[11]  Chung W, Chen C. Evaluation of performance and uncertainty of infrared tympanic thermometers. Sensors. 2010; 10(4): 3073-89.
[12]  El-Radhi A, Barry W. Thermometry in paediatric practice. Archives of disease in childhood. 2006; 91(4): 351-6.
[13]  Fadzil FM, Choon D, Arumugam K. A comparative study on the accuracy of noninvasive thermometers, Australian family physician. 2010; 39(4): 237-9.
[14]  Devrim I, Kara A, Ceyhan M, Tezer H, Uludağ AK, Cengiz AB, et al. Measurement accuracy of fever by tympanic and axillary thermometry. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2007; 23(1): 16-9.
[15]  Benkovich N, Farrell BC, Nimunkar A, Baran J, Webster JG. Low Cost Digital Thermometer. 2009.
[16]  Dolkar R, Kapoor S, Singh NV, Suri V. A comparative study on the recording of temperature by the clinical mercury thermometer and digital thermometer, Nursing and Midwifery Research, 2013; 9(1): 40-6.
[17]  Gasim GI, Musa IR, Abdien MT, Adam I. Accuracy of tympanic temperature measurement using an infrared tympanic membrane thermometer, BMC research notes, 2013; 6(1): 194.
[18]  ByadMinon, editor. Best Infant Thermometers,Tympanic Thermometersk, August 17, 2013.
[19]  Y vonne M. Shevchuk B, PharMD, FCSHP. chapter-9 fever. 85-92.
[20]  Pušnik I, Miklavec A. Dilemmas in measurement of human body temperature. Instrumentation Science and Technology, 2009; 37(5): 516-30.
[21]  Schmitz T, Bair N, Falk M, Levine C. A comparison of five methods of temperature measurement in febrile intensive care patients, American journal of critical care. 1995; 4(4): 286-92.
[22]  McCallum L, Higgins D. Measuring body temperature, Nursing Times. 2012; 108(45): 20-2.
[23]  Jeanette Grady. Nursing Procedure: Measuring and Monitoring Temperature in the Highly Dependent or Critically Ill Infant or Child – Axilla temperature review.
[24]  Smith LS. Reexamining age, race, site, and thermometer type as variables affecting temperature measurement in adults–A comparison study. BMC nursing. 2003; 2(1): 1.
[25]  Elizabeth Bridges and Karen Thomas Noninvasive measurement of Body Temperature in Critically Ill. CriticalCareNurse. JUNE 2009; 29(3): 97.
[26]  Rosenthal HM, A. L. Measuring temperature of NICU patients-A comparison of three devices. J Neonatal Nurs. 2006; 12: 125-9.
[27]  Khorshid L, Eşer İ, Zaybak A, Yapucu Ü. Comparing Mercuryin-glass, tympanic and disposable thermometers in measuring body temperature in healthy young people. Journal of clinical nursing. 2005; 14(4): 496-500.
[28]  Sganga A, Wallace R, Kiehl E, Irving T, Witter L. A comparison of four methods of normal newborn temperature measurement. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 2000; 25(2): 76-9.
[29]  Uslu S, Ozdemir H, Bulbul A, Comert S, Bolat F, Can E, et al. A comparison of different methods of temperature measurements in sick newborns, Journal of tropical pediatrics. 2011; 57(6): 418-23.
[30]  Arslan GG, Eser I, Khorshid L. Analysis of the effect of lying on the ear on body temperature measurement using a tympanic thermometer Analysis, 2011.
[31]  Cassandra Sutton S, Year 2 Issue: Oral versus axilla temperature measurement [a review of the evidence]. Tasmania: Tasmanian School of Nursing Nuritinga 1999.
[32]  Davies, S.P, Kassab, J.Y., T hrush, A.J. aS, et al. A comparison of mercuryand digitalclinical the rmomete rs. J A dvancedNurs,. 2006; 11(5): 535-43.
[33]  Lawson L, Bridges EJ, Ballou I, Eraker R, Greco S, Shively J, et al. Accuracy and precision of noninvasive temperature measurement in adult intensive care patient. American journal of critical care. 2007; 16(5): 485-96.
[34]  Cutter J. Recording patient temperature--are we getting it right? Professional nurse (London, England). 1994; 9(9): 608-10, 12, 15-6.
[35]  Potter PA, Perry AG, Hall A, Stockert Patricia A. Fundamentals of nursing: Elsevier Mosby; 2009.
[36]  Fulbrook P. Core temperature measurement in adults: a literature review. Journal of advanced nursing. 1993; 18(9): 1451-60.
[37]  Ulusoy MF & Go¨rgu ¨lu ¨ R. Hems¸irelik Esasları-Temel Kuram Kavram_ Ilke ve Yo ¨ntemler, Cilt TDFO Ltd S¸ti,Ankara,. 1996; 1(2. bs. 72 ): 151-3.
[38]  Haddadin R. Study between axillary and rectal temperature measurements in children. Eastern Mediterranean health journal. 2007; 13(5): 1060-6.
[39]  Roy AS, Chowdhury T, Bandhopadhya D, Ghosh G. Time required to document temperature by electronic skin thermometer in a healthy neonate. Indian pediatrics. 2009; 46(12): 1103.
[40]  Deorari A. Neonatal hypothermia In Newborn Care Practice and Care Settings. 2004: 65-71.
[41]  Yu-qin Z. sududy on accuracy of three different time to obtain readings in measuring axillary temperature. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2007; 1.
[42]  Chaturvedi D, Vilhekar K, Chaturvedi P, Bharambe M. Comparison of axillary temperature with rectal or oral temperature and determination of optimum placement time in children. Indian pediatrics, 2004; 41(6): 600-4.
[43]  Greyling G, Viljoen M, Joubert G. Axillary temperature compared to tympanic membrane temperature in children] Curationis, 2000; 23(3): 54.
[44]  JI He Journal Editorial Staff of Henan University Kaifeng KaiFeng 475001, China. The Study on Different time to Take Temperature in Axillary, China Foreign Medical Treatment. ; 2009; 29.
[45]  Sheng L, Heping C, Qinfang Z. Probe into measuring time of auxillary temperature for patients,Chinese General Nursing. 2008; 33: 002.
[46]  Li Shu-Ying, Lin Min, Huang Cai-hui. Research and practice of axillary temperature measurement at interval. Journal of Henan University(Medical Science), 2012; 01.
[47]  Craig JV, Lancaster GA, Wasiamson PR, Smyth RL. Temperature measured at the axilla compared with rectum in children and young people: systematic review. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 2000; 320(7243): 1174.
[48]  Hadgu Gerensea and Rajalakshmi Murugan, “Is There Significant Difference between Digital and Glass Mercury Thermometer?,” Advances in Nursing, vol. 2016, Article ID 3474503, 10 pages, 2016.